At my recommendation, EnQii committed its time and money to join the Digital Signage Association (DSA) shortly after the association was formed. At that time, I was skeptical about an association that was being supported by a for-profit business, NetWorld Alliance, and at my first DSA meeting I raised my hand and asked in my NYC blunt style to show me that although the organization was not a 501(c) that it was operating as one.
Not only did I get a straightforward “no BS” answer but also a walkthrough of DSA finances. I was convinced. Also, along the way, I developed a great deal of respect and gratitude toward NetWorld, their leadership and the opportunity they were offering the industry by incubating a true association for the burgeoning digital signage industry.
A few months later I raised my hand again, this time to be considered for the role of association president. Immediately in this capacity I started discussions, which soon turned into planning sessions, on how to get the DSA standing on its own two feet and be the true voice of the industry and its member companies, all constituencies and from all geographies.
The first step was to ensure that we had a strong value proposition that resonated with the members and drew in membership. In two short years, we are now 420+ member companies strong. Second, but concurrently, we needed to move on a path to establish legal independence as a 501(c) not-for-profit organization. Inextricably linked to independence is the need to identify revenue sources so that (1) You can channel that money back to industry and member directed programs, and (2) You can maintain membership fees an affordable level so the association is accessible for all.
I am very proud to report that this goal is coming to a significant milestone this coming Tuesday, February 23rd, when the Advisory Board is voting on proceeding with the filing of our 501(c)(6) status, and send out a request for proposals from trade show management companies to partner with the DSA on management of an industry trade show.
The NetWorld incubation era is coming to a close, and the DSA, and I believe the industry, should be extremely grateful for their leadership and vision. The Digital Signage Association is something we should all be proud of and rally around to support the advancement of its pure mission, ‘To accelerate the growth and advance the excellence of digital signage deployments worldwide‘.
If you are part of the DSA, continue to participate as you have and by helping to “raise the industry tide, your boat will rise as well.” If you are not part of the DSA, then do as EnQii and 400+ companies have done – get involved and become part of an exciting movement as we work to make it a healthy and sustainable industry.
If you are going to DSE next week in Las Vegas, please stop by the DSA Booth #1113.
Also if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me.